Teaching Tennessee, CTE Task: Inspect Vehicle Battery

Click here to download the teacher resource for this task. 


Maintenance and Light Repair II (MLR II)


30 Minutes


Inspect Vehicle Battery

Task Description


Students will:

  • Read the linked materials
  • Watch the linked videos using guided notes
  • Complete the worksheet
  • Record a video of themselves describing the steps and tools involved in inspecting a vehicle battery.


Safety Note: If possible, students should do this task with a vehicle, but ensure the students do so safely.

Inspect and clean battery: fill battery cells: check battery cables, Connectors, clamps, and hold-downs. (4.4)

Overall Standard (4): Students will inspect, test, and service vehicle batteries.

 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Explain why a battery needs to be inspected.
  • Describe symptoms of a bad or failing battery.
  • Select the tools required.
  • Locate the battery.
  • Describe how to visually inspect the battery.
  • Explain how to check the fluid levels of a battery, if appropriate.
  • Describe how to test the battery with a multimeter.   

To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • Explain why some batteries do not need the fluid level checked.
  • Describe how a battery load tester works.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions


The ______________ tests a variety of electrical connections and components in the vehicle.   

How many volts should the multimeter show for a standard vehicle battery?


Instructional Resources


Materials to read (see guide below)

Hi-Tech Car Care. (2016, March 2) How to Perform a Complete Car Battery Inspection https://www.hi-techcarcare.com/battery/how-to-perform-a-complete-car-battery-inspection/


Videos to watch (see note guide below)

Brad Weiss (2014, March 14) How to Inspect the Battery (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3PKJAamtBE (2:55 minutes)

Chris Fix (2014, May 14) How to Test a Car Battery with a Multimeter (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COJr7OB23Hw (6 minutes)

Helpful DIY (2016, February 15) How To Check A Car Battery With A Multimeter (Tutorial) (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btdWx3ZOiYU (2 minutes)

Student Resources

Click here to download the student resources for this task. 


Student Reading Guide

How to Perform a Visual Car Battery Inspection

  • Examine the battery case. Make sure it’s free of corrosion, and wipe any dust or dirt off. If you see cracks or oozing at the top of the battery case, it’s time to replace the battery.
  • Examine the brackets. If they are highly corroded, they need to be replaced. Make sure they hold the battery firmly. A vibrating battery will have a much shorter life and may damage other components.
  • Check the battery terminals and posts for signs of corrosion.
  • Tighten any loose cables.
  • Make sure the fan belt isn’t loose. A loose fan belt can hamper a battery’s ability to recharge. Replace the fan belt if it is frayed or cracked.
  • Watch and listen for warning signs of battery failure, such as lights dimming while idling, or clicking when you turn the ignition.



Student Video Guide

How to Perform a Vehicle Battery Inspection

  • Visually inspect the battery case and terminals. Make sure they are free of corrosion.
  • Examine the brackets. If they are highly corroded, they need to be replaced. Make sure they hold the battery firmly.
  • Tighten any loose cables.
  • Check fluid level (not necessary with maintenance free - sealed batteries).  Remove the fluid caps and ensure all cells have the same (full) level of fluid.
  • Test the voltage of the battery with a multimeter.  Set the multimeter appropriately (each multimeter may be different).  Touch the red lead to the positive/red battery terminal.  Touch the black lead to the negative/black terminal.  Read the multimeter.  If the volts are 12.5 or above, the battery voltage is good.




Student Worksheet

Questions for after reading and watching all resources


What are signs the battery is weak or failing?




What tools and parts are needed?




What are the items to be checked when inspecting a battery?




What are visual signs of problems with a battery?




What are the steps to test the voltage with a multimeter?